Reflections on a systematic nomenclature for antimicrobial peptides from the skins of frogs of the family Ranidae

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Frogs belonging to the extensive family Ranidae represent a valuable source of antimicrobial peptides with therapeutic potential but there is currently no consistent system of nomenclature to describe these peptides. Terminology based solely on species name does not reflect the evolutionary relationships existing between peptides encoded by orthologous and paralogous genes. On the basis of limited structural similarity, at least 14 well-established peptide families have been identified (brevinin-1, brevinin-2, esculentin-1, esculentin-2, japonicin-1, japonicin-2, nigrocin-2, palustrin-1, palustrin-2, ranacyclin, ranalexin, ranatuerin-1, ranatuerin-2, temporin). It is proposed that terms that are synonymous with these names should no longer be used. Orthologous peptides from different species may be characterized by the initial letter of that species, set in upper case, with paralogs belonging to the same peptide family being assigned letters set in lower case, e.g. brevinin-1Pa, brevinin-1Pb, etc. When two species begin with the same initial letter, two letters may be used, e.g. P for pipiens and PL for palustris. Species names and assignments to genera may be obtained from Amphibian Species of the World Electronic Database, accessible at American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1815-1819
Number of pages5
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Oct 2008


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